Based on the latest reports, 55 Yellowstone grizzly bears have been killed by hunters and farmers this year although this species is still protected.
According to the officials from the Yellowstone National Park, this unusual number of grizzly deaths might have been caused by the fact that they have been regarded as a threat to livestock. A few months ago, the opposition proposed that the Yellowstone grizzly bear should no longer be protected by the US Endangered Species Act because the population reached around 690 bears.
If the Yellowstone grizzly were removed from the endangered species list, the hunters would be allowed to take down bears in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and other areas surrounding the park. Fortunately, the environmental conservationists, Native American tribes, and many other biologists strongly opposed the proposition suggested by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
On the other hand, ranchers and hunters believe that the increasing number of bears will facilitate more conflicts between these animals and humans. The officials have found 55 carcasses so far this year. Also, they said that over fifty percent of those bears were killed by bear managers because they preyed on sheep and cattle.
Environmental conservationists are worried that the number of deaths will exceed the last year’s total of 61 bears. These statistics are concerning, especially if we compare them with the ones in 2013 and 2014 when 29 and 28 bears were killed.
According to the wildlife officials, these conflicts occur when some bears try to expand their territory in areas where other Yellowstone grizzly bears or humans already live. In other words, they believe that the increasing number of deaths is a sign of high density in the National Park.
However, some believe that this is just an excuse to kill more bears. Conservationists say that this unusual number of deaths has a negative impact on the overall bear population, especially because it is the second year in a row when many specimens are killed.
This is why they believe that removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act is a bad idea. They predict that the bear population would plummet if a hunting season would take place.